HARRISBURG, Pa. — At about 7 a.m. every morning 88-year-old Donald Bronson leaves his home to go for a two-mile walk through his Pennsylvania neighborhood. It’s something that he’s been doing for years and no one has really noticed very much.
But, after Pennsylvania began responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and more people were home, they noticed something special about Bronson’s daily stroll. At every American flag on his path, the veteran stops to salute.
“I fought for the flag,” Bronson told ABC 27 who accompanied him on one of his morning walks.
Bronson joined the military in 1948 when he was just 16-years-old and served two tours in Korea, and two tours in Vietnam. He also became a paratrooper in the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions for 18 years and became a Green Beret.
This octogenarian’s small gesture was captured by a neighbor that noticed his routine after working from home for the past few months.
“As the weather got nicer I would take a break or my lunch and sit on my deck. I noticed that he stops and salutes every American Flag he sees flying. So, last week while taking a few minutes to myself I saw him walking and took this video. It brought tears to my eyes the first time I saw him do it months ago but again when watching this video back. Hope y’all enjoyed it as much as I do!” Jaimi Zeiders wrote on Facebook.
That video posted about a month ago of the veteran stopping to salute the flag has now been shared more than 20,000 times and seen by almost a million people. But none of that newfound social media fame seems to affect Bronson.
“Whatever,” he joked with the reporter that was walking with him.
He says that the habit was started during his days in the military, and it’s now a habit he does out of respect.
“It’s just automatic,” Bronson said, “I walk down. I see, stop to salute the flag, keep on walking.”
WHTM reports that Bronson and his wife of 62 years Pauline are staying busy as the grandparents of 3 and are expecting their first great-grandchild later this month.
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